MALAY, Aklan -- More than 300 members of the 4-H Clubs from the different regions in the Philippines recently gathered for the 70th National Farm Youth (4-H) Convention, organized by the Department of Agriculture (DA) through the Agricultural Training Institute (ATI).
This year's theme "4-H EVOLVE: Expanding the Value of Leadership and Volunteerism Over 70 Years of 4-H Excellence," focused on how the youth organizations adapt to the changing time, embrace innovations, and leverage the members' values and skills to help address the persistent and impending challenges in the agriculture sector.
Aklan Governor Jose Enrique M. Miraflores and Malay Mayor Floribar S. Bautista graced the activity. Representatives from the ATI Regional Training Centers, DA Regional Field Offices, 4-H Volunteer Leaders Association of the Philippines likewise attended the activity.
ATI Director Remelyn R. Recoter delivered her inspirational message where she emphasized the responsibilities of each farm youth amidst the aging population of Filipino farmers. Recoter added that now more than ever, the Filipino youth should step up and create an inclusive, sustainable and thriving agricultural sector that is the backbone of the nation's prosperity.
"The Agricultural Training Institute vows to continuously support and provide holistic development efforts to the 4-H (clubs) to transform the youth into a more competitive and productive sector of the society. We will always acknowledge and celebrate your organization as our proactive partners in agricultural development," Recoter said.
During the four-day convention, the participants from the different regions competed to promote advocacies and projects of their respective clubs through video-making, songwriting, and promotional merchandise making. The invited resource speakers from partner institutions presented the various agricultural innovations and explained the different concepts on digital agriculture, social entrepreneurship, agri-tourism, and mental health awareness. To highlight the exceptional accomplishments and development of youth in the agriculture sector, the selected outstanding members and coordinators were awarded with this year's National Excellent Achievers Awards for 4-H.
As the national secretariat and overall coordinator in revitalizing and sustaining the activities of rural-based organizations, the ATI serves as the prime mover in the development of 4-H Clubs in the Philippines. The 4-H Club is an organization whose members are out-of-school and in-school youths, who are single with ages 7 to 30 years old and involved in the farming and/or fishing industry. The Institute has also been engaging with other various organizations, innovating plans and programs to empower the country's youth in agriculture.
The 70th National Farm Youth (4-H) Convention was held last August 1 to 4, 2023 at La Carmela de Boracay, Malay, Aklan.